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Prior Approval

Seeking Approval From The Local Planning Authority Before Works Commence

Prior Notification

Certain developments are considered permitted development and do not require planning consent. Some require notification to the Local Planning Authority to determine whether prior approval is required.

The prior approval route is supposed to be straightforward, with local planning authorities making prompt decisions. However this is rarely the case, particularly for more complex schemes or appeals.

The risks and impacts of a proposal will vary depending upon the location, context and use. The LPA consider factors such as design, appearance, transport, highways impacts and flooding risks.

It is essential to provide relevant information to support a prior approval application.  A planning professional provides invaluable advice and assistance giving project the best chance of the thumbs up!.


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The Different Types Of Prior Approval?

Prior Approval for Change of use from

  1. Retail (A1, A2) to A3
  2. retail/takeaway to dwellinghouses
  3. retail to assembly/leisure
  4. agriculture to dwellinghouses
  5. agriculture to flexible commercial use
  6. agriculture to state funded school/nursery (D1 use)
  7. business/hotels/etc to school/nursery
  8. offices (B1) to dwellinghouses (C3)
  9. light industrial to dwellinghouses
  10. amusements/casinos (Sui Generis) to dwellinghouses
  11. retail/takeaway to offices (B1a use)

Prior Approval for new development including

  1. Building for agricultural/forestry use
  2. Private road for agricultural/forestry use
  3. Excavation/Deposit waste for agriculture
  4. Tank/Cage/Structure for use in fish farming
  5. Development for electronic communications network
  6. larger Home Extension
  7. Collection facility for a shop
  8. Roof mounted solar PV on non-domestic building

Prior approval for Temporary uses including:

  1. Temporary state funded school on previously vacant commercial land
  2. Temporary use for commercial film-making

Prior approval for demolition of a building.


Prior Approval For A Large Home Extension

It is possible to undertaken larger single storey rear house extensions under permitted development? Or under the Prior Approval route?

Home extensions can provide much needed additional living space for householders. Prior approval for larger extensions allows for up to 6m in length (for attached) or 8m for detached houses, without the need for planning approval, subject to certain limitations and conditions.

These applications require the local planning authority (LPA) to consult with adjoining neighbours. If they object then the LPA would determine impact and decide whether the works should go ahead. This can present uncertainty into the process. Identical proposals could result in different outcomes depending on the views of the relevant neighbours.

The process is be further complicated where there are multiple neighbours. For example, blocks of flats or commercial properties. One of our recent projects was for a simple 3-bedroom semi-detached property. Notifications had to be sent out to 60 different neighbours! This is way in excess of what would normally be required, although we have heard of higher numbers in some London properties.

Liaising with neighbours before a Prior Approval Applications is submitted is vital to have the best possible chance of a positive outcome.

Plande have been involved with numerous applications for Prior Approval for larger home extensions.

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Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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